Councillors in the running for top awards

Published Thursday, 4th October 2018

Two senior Hartlepool councillors have been shortlisted for national awards.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, and Councillor Stephen Thomas, Chair of the Council’s Adult Services Committee, have been shortlisted respectively for the ‘Leader of the Year’ and ‘Health and Care’ awards in the 2018 Councillor Achievement Awards.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher and Councillor Stephen Thomas

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher and Councillor Stephen Thomas

The annual awards are run by local democracy think-tank the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) and sponsored by the CCLA, a leading specialist fund manager for local authorities and charities. They are the only national ceremony to honour the work of councillors from across England.

The winners will be selected by a group of judges made up of local government experts and councillors and will be announced at the awards ceremony in London’s Guildhall in November.

Jonathan Carr-West, LGiU Chief Executive, said: “We received nearly 200 nominations for the 2018 Councillor Achievement Awards, so it’s a huge achievement to be shortlisted.

“The shortlisted councillors went above and beyond the call of duty in 2018, making a real difference to their residents.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “My guiding principle has always been to achieve the very best for Hartlepool and all its residents, working in partnership with people across the town to drive forward improvements on all fronts.

To be one of just six council leaders from across the country to be shortlisted for the ‘Leader Of The Year Award’ is an immense privilege and I am absolutely delighted.”

Councillor Stephen Thomas said: “To be one of only five councillors nationally to be shortlisted for the ‘Health and Care Award’ is a very great honour indeed.

“I am totally committed to tackling the health inequalities in Hartlepool and ensuring that local people receive the best possible care, and I view this national accolade as recognition not just for me but for all the dedicated professionals and volunteers across the town with whom I have the privilege of working.”